Out & About: Quentin Blake at the House of Illustration

Okay, this is possibly my favourite exhibition I've ever seen... I know I've previously written that about something else on my blog (although sort of ironically I don't remember what!) but I honestly felt like crying at several points whilst I was looking around the Quentin Blake exhibition at the House of Illustration yesterday purely because of how breathtaking it was... I've seen his work up close before at the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge last year, which was still amazing but there was just something about it this time...the atmosphere? the choice of work? how much closer you could get?... maybe a combination of them all! Just SOMETHING made this a so much more 'emotional' experience!!! His work just makes me feel so 'at home', like the Roald Dahl books WERE my childhood and the drawings have such a friendly nostalgia about them. Although like particularly seeing the Danny the Champion of the World watercolour/inks in their original form made me really sad that the colour had had to be eradicated when they were put into print though.  

I came away from the exhibition feeling like I'd learnt so much more about what it is to be an illustrator... there were prompting questions, inspiring quotes and a video showing how he works. I also left feeling much more confident, which is odd, but to see that even the very best illustrator on the planet still takes up to 30 attempts of reworking something to get it totally right makes me feel a bit better!! As you probably have learnt by now, I cannot draw people. I cannot. I will not. Buuut after hearing Quentin Blake's process and reading about the questions he asks himself that lead to a character being created, I honestly feel like I want to give it a proper go and not give up so easily. I always find exhibitions that focus on showing 'the process' sooo much more influential to me and there was something so special about getting within millimetres of his original sketches.  

"It's like directing a play, except you also get to design the scenery and play all the parts." - Quentin Blake

Naomi x

1 comment

  1. Quentin Blake is such a talented illustrator and his illustrations are beautiful! I remember collecting the Roald Dahl magazines when I was younger and I would always just care about the illustration parts more!
    Lauren // OhHay Blogs!